Monday, September 25, 2017
Graves: Showing respect to our flag is showing respect for our armed forces
As I travel North Missouri, I catch a glimpse of the American flag almost everywhere I go. It's not just at government buildings; it's prominently displayed at many homes, farms and businesses. It's a constant reminder that we live in the greatest country on earth.
One overly large flag was on display during an important battle in our nation's history and inspired a song we sing to this day.
During the War of 1812, British forces unleashed a brutal attack on Fort McHenry during the Battle of Baltimore. The Generals at the Fort had requested to fly what was then the largest American battle flag ever flown. Francis Scott Key, an American lawyer, was being held on a British ship and watched the battle from afar. Awaking the day after the bombardment, Key saw the large American flag still flying high above the fort. He knew that the battle had been won, inspiring him to pen a poem which we know today as "The Star-Spangled Banner."
Eventually, the United States Navy began using the song and, in 1931, Congress officially recognized it as our National Anthem.
Today, whether at meetings, sporting events, or other events, we stand, face the flag, remove our hats and place our hand over our heart while the National Anthem is played.
It's not just a tradition; we do it out of reverence for our flag, our country and those who have selflessly served or are currently serving our nation.
Our flag is a representation of the valor, perseverance and strength of our nation and the freedoms that we are blessed to enjoy. Those freedoms wouldn't exist without the men and women of our Armed Forces. Showing respect for our flag is showing respect for our family, friends and neighbors who have served or are currently serving. We do well to show them that honor every time we get the opportunity.